Title: There One Were Stars
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Series: Stand Alone
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Source: Irish Banana Blog Tours
Dystopian novels. They are a genre, specifically from the teen section, that I tend to devour. Ever since I read Hunger Games way back before it exploded in popularity, I have been an addict. I cannot get enough of these stories. I just love seeing the various societies that authors have come up with that are supposed to be so ideal, but are really just a disastrous mess.
And there are so many ways!
So naturally I needed to give There Once Were Stars by Melanie McFarlane a read. A society set in our world, but in the future. People live in domes because once upon a time there was a disease so horrible, that the non infected/immune people were brought into the domes while the rest of the world was nuked. Nuking the world meant that the outside was totally uninhabitable, so they had to wait and wait and wait until the earth was ready to be fully inhabited again. The radiation left behind was deadly.
There was more than one of these domes created, however, our story only involves one of them. There appears to be no communication between the domes, or if there had been, it went by the wayside as the years passed. So no one knows anything about any of the other domes. Each dome has its own government set up and its own goals.
Ooooh government....dystopian....dun dun dun.
Nat is our main character. She is just a girl trying to decide what she wants to do for the rest of her life, as she is at the point that she is supposed to choose. Her parents were field scientists that were killed while out on expedition outside of the dome when she was very young, so she has been raised with her parents.
Well never much for following all of the rules, Nat likes to spend time out in the dome forest where she has found a small clearing. She finds solace there. The clearing also happens to be at the very edge of the dome and one day while she is out there...she sees people!
But no one is supposed to be able to live outside the dome!
The outsider gets brought in. Nat's world gets turned upside down.
From there the rest of the story unravels.
I will only tell you this. It does not have any dinosaurs in it. I had a really strange desire that this book have dinosaurs in it for some reason. Like... I really really wanted there to be dinosaurs :(
Anyways, as far as dystopians go, I have read quite a few and could kind of feel where this one was going. It wasn't unoriginal or anything, but it wasn't really original either. It was a fast read though. It pulled you in and made you want to keep going, and that is always important.
When it came to the writing, there were a few times that I felt that it fell a little short. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best either. It, however, does show a lot of promise. I definitely wasn't put off by it. I do think Melanie McFarlane may have a skill with horror writing. I would LOVE to read anything she crafts in that genre. There are some bits in the book where her writing thrived and it was usually in a darker, scarier moment.
I think Melanie McFarlane can only improve and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. She crafted quite an interesting story in a subgenre that has so many books out there that it is hard to come out with an original. And if she ever writes anything horror (teen or not) you can bet I will be picking that book up to read super fast.
This review is based on an ARC provided by the publisher through Irish Banana Blog Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Blog Tour Schedule
6/6: Fiction Fare - Q&A
6/11: The Plot Bunny - Review
6/13: Arctic Books - Top 10